Tue | Jan 23, 2018

Warner, Joseph hail Burrell as leader

Published:Wednesday | June 7, 2017 | 12:16 AM

Cheney Joseph, first vice president of the Caribbean Football Union (CFU) and close friend of deceased Jamaica Football Federation (JFF) president Captain Horace Burrell, along with former CONCACAF president Austin 'Jack' Warner have both hailed the local football boss as a leader in regional football, following his passing yesterday afternoon.

Burrell, the longstanding president of the JFF, died at the age of 67 following a long battle with illness.

"The Caribbean has lost a football father so to speak as he was one of the guys who championed the cause of Jamaican football and Caribbean football and I think as far as the Caribbean and Jamaica is concerned, we have lost one of our football icons," Warner told The Gleaner in a telephone interview.

"It's not fitting that I say too much right now," continued the embattled Trinidadian. "May his soul rest in peace, that will suffice, and I of course hope is family is able to recover quickly from his demise."


Warner, Burrell banned


Warner and Burrell were believed to be close before the former's alleged involvement in a football corruption scandal that rocked the region in 2011. Warner has since been banned from football and is fighting an extradition request from the US Department of Justice from a 2015 fraud investigation.

Burrell was also banned by the FIFA Ethics Committee in 2011 for six months in relation to the CFU controversy.

Joseph, who enjoyed a warm relationship with Burrell, while defending Burrell's legacy, highlighted the administrator's commitment to the development of regional football but also remembered the Jamaican by a side not often seen in front of the lenses - as a cheerful and easy-going individual.

"Captain went too soon. I know he felt he needed to pass the baton on and I know deep inside that if he had a chance to do it over or call it his way, he would have imparted more knowledge to people," Joseph told The Gleaner yesterday.

"Despite many of his detractors, Captain is a good man and I am not saying that because he is dead, I am saying that because of the friendship I had with him and how well I knew him," Joseph added.

"He was a jolly good fellow, who served the region well. He went too soon but I know in the future his name will be recognised as having served the people of Jamaica, the Eastern Caribbean, the French the Dutch the Spanish and CONCACAF with dignity despite his close relationship with people, who did things that caused football to be what it is in the Caribbean," Joseph added.

"He wanted to do a lot of things for the region, maybe he never succeeded in doing all he wanted to do but Captain served the region well," he added.

- A.L.